Books, boats and plastic bags
Now I feel silly. Burbling on in my last blog post about how much I was looking forward to some fizz at my book launch and actually there wasn’t any. Steen (RYA publishing whizz) must have seen the look on my face when he said there would be no bubbly, as he very reasonably pointed out that the event would be on stage and it would be rather difficult to provide drinks for the entire audience. Fair enough, as it meant that ‘Go Green’ was indeed launched at the weekend to a large audience at the Dinghy Show with a the help of TV wildlife guru Chris Packham and sailing superstar Mike Golding, along with several children and some cardboard boxes. It was fantastic that Chris took time out from his schedule to add his support and talk about the importance of marine conservation for us all.
On stage (right to left): Chris Packham, Mike Golding (hidden behind presenter Tracy Clarke), young volunteers from the audience, Dr Susie Thomson (environmental expert and consulting editor). And me.
If you’re wondering what the cardboard boxes were for, the youngsters had to pick out items of rubbish from a large box and try to sort them according to how long they take to biodegrade. Most of the plastics, sadly, take around 500 years. Since writing the book I’ve become so much more aware of how much plastic and packaging fills our world and chokes the life out of the seas. I’m the one in the supermarket with loose apples and vegetables rolling around and causing havoc at the checkout, wondering why checkout assistants always say ‘Are you sure?’ when you say ‘No bags, please’. Of course I’m sure! Otherwise I wouldn’t have said it. I’m already feeling guilty at the checkout for buying blueberries which I adore and keep the winter bugs away, but can only be bought in non-recyclable plastic punnets. One day I’ll behave really badly and pounce on the next shopper I see stuffing a bunch of bananas in a plastic bag. “Look, you muppet, they’re already wrapped in a skin. They don’t need any more packaging!”
But don’t worry, it’s not a preachy sort of book. And all the jokes are fully recycled….
While I’m getting in practice for being a grumpy old woman (though according to Perry I already am), here’s a grump of the day. There’s a new scheme for the over 50’s which is a special helpline to ring in the event of a power cut. Eh? Over 50? Since when has 50 become the age that you suddenly need helpful little leaflets for the elderly? A different government department to the one that says you’re only half way through your working life at 50 and don’t need a pension for… ooh, ages yet, if at all. Anyone who thinks I’m a little old lady will get a smack in the mouth and a reminder that, actually, I was a late starter. Having spent most of my twenties and thirties living in damp bedsits or leaky boats, or drifting around being spiritual, I didn’t get round to the family phase of life until much later. So it was in my late forties that I started thinking about a sort of career, which is why at the splendid age of umpty-umph I’m just getting into my stride. I’ll have your leaflets for the elderly when I’m ninety and not a day earlier. With a bit of luck I might have retired by then!
Don’t you just hate blogs that grumble? Mm, so do I. Better stop now. See what happens when I’m deprived of fizzy wine for too long?